The scheme was launched at the beginning of this year, to provide people with a cashless way of making a real change to the lives of current and former rough sleepers by funding everyday life essentials that will help them leave the streets behind for good.
Donations generate a pot of funding that individuals can apply for, with assistance from a supporting organisation (voluntary sector or local authority), to get the sort of practical help they need to turn their lives around.
So far, the scheme has raised more than £3,300 from people making donations via the cashless terminals located in the windows of Dalton Square Pharmacy, Student Housing Lancaster and Treasure Island Arcade in Morecambe.
With just a tap of a card from outside the premises, donations of £3 can be made towards the cause.
You can also donate £3 by texting STREET to 70450.
Many people have also offered greater amounts via the fundraising platform, TotalGiving – www.totalgiving.co.uk/appeal/streetaid
The money has already funded home essentials and replacement documentation such as birth certificates, to help people move into new accommodation at short notice and those who have lost important possessions due to arson and theft.
Other support that can be applied for via the scheme include access to education/training courses, equipment or materials for hobbies and interests, clothing for job interviews, transport to interview/place of work, and help with searching for a job.
Councillor Cary Matthews, cabinet member with responsibility for housing and homelessness, said: “The Lancaster District Street Aid Scheme is by far the best way of donating money towards making a tangible and long-term difference to the lives of those who have ended up on the street.
“It is hoped that more people will donate to the scheme this Christmas. They’ll be safe in the knowledge that 100% of it will be put to good use and an alternative to handing over cash directly. This often gives people a reason to remain out in the cold despite the offer of help and accommodation on a regular basis from numerous agencies.”
More information on the scheme can be found at www.lancastercvs.org.uk/streetaid
Anyone willing to host an additional donation point in the window of their business or organisation, should contact Lancaster District CVS by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Concerned about someone who might be sleeping rough?
If you’re concerned about someone sleeping rough, get in touch with Street Link so the city council can connect them to local services.
The Street Link scheme is a service that enables the public to alert local authorities in England about rough sleepers in their area.
The service can be contacted by telephoning 0300 500 0914 or visiting the www.streetlink.org.uk
Are you homeless or at risk of becoming homeless?
If you’re homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, the council would urge you to contact its Housing Options Team as soon as possible for help.
During office hours you can call 01524 582257. At weekends when the office is closed, call 01524 67099.
Last updated: 13 December 2021